Gospel Hump Wilderness, Idaho


Gospel Hump Wilderness

The newest designated wilderness area in Idaho, Gospel Hump is definitely one of Idaho’s best kept secrets and the perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts. Read More

  • The perfect get away for peace and solitude.
  • Outdoor recreation including river floats, hunting, fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping.
  • 21 mountain peaks over 8000 feet high.
  • Protected since 1978 by the Endangered American Wilderness Act.


About 3 hours from McCall, the Gospel Hump Wilderness area is the perfect place to get away from it all. Boasting some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, it spans over 206,000 acres. Gospel Hump has been protected by the Endangered American Wilderness Act since 1978.

Gospel Hump Wildness is filled with deep canyons and a multitude of lakes. It is home to the highest mountains in Idaho, with 21 peaks over 8000 feet high. Rich in history, the Nez Perce Indians are believed to have hunted black bear, elk and deer at Gospel Hump as far back as 6000 B.C.

Location & Information

Located in the Nez Perce National Forest east of Riggins, the area is open year round with no entrance fees.

For road conditions and other information, you can contact the Nez Perce National Forest office in Grangeville, Idaho, at 208-983-1950.

Getting There

From McCall, take Hwy 55 northeast to New Meadows. Then take Hwy 95 north for approximately 54 miles and turn right onto Slate Creek Road. Follow Slate Creek Road for about 17.5 miles (it turns into NF-354, then Grangeville Salmon Rd). Turn right on NF-444 which will take you into the wilderness area.

Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping

Whether you prefer a day hike or a week long camping trip, Gospel Hump has many trails to explore. Most of them are quite challenging but the views are amazing. One of the most popular is Gospel Hump Loop - a rugged 68 mile trek perfect for adventurous backpackers.

River Floats

Families come to Gospel Hump in the summer to float the river rapids. Floating permits are required for the Selway River and the Salmon River.


The diverse terrain and extremes in elevation make it the ideal habitat for a huge variety of plant species and an array of wildlife, including moose, black bear, bighorn sheep, elk, mountain lions, cougars, mountain goats, and deer.

Hunting and Fishing

For those who enjoy hunting, Gospel Hump Wilderness provides access to a variety of wild game. Since it is both vast and remote, you won’t run into crowds of hunters here. If you’re an avid angler, you will find plenty of great fishing in the area’s numerous rivers, lakes and streams.

Elk City Wagon Road

This historic road was once used by the Nez Perce Indians, settlers, and gold miners who came seeking fortune during the gold rush. Each year the community hosts a variety of fun events during the Elk City Wagon Road Days.

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